In keeping with the Christmas season, RTL presents a modern reinterpretation of the legendary friendship of German immigrant Karl May, alias Old Shatterhand (Wotan Wilke Möhring), and Apache chief Winnetou (Nik Xhelilaj), an extraordinary TV experience for the whole family, the likes of which are usually only seen on the big screen.
Realistically directed by Philipp Stölzl ("Der Medicus," "Nordwand," "Goethe!"), emotionally moving and carried by a terrific cast, the trilogy tells a thrilling adventure journey through America's Wild West. Filming took place on the already legendary original locations in Croatia and in North Rhine-Westphalia, where the interior shots for the three films were realized at MMC Studios in Cologne.
RTL will show the first part "Winnetou - A New World" on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2016 at 8:15 p.m.
The second part, "Winnetou - The Secret of Silver Lake", follows on Dec. 27, at 8:15 p.m., the third part, "Winnetou - The Last Fight", on Dec. 29 at 8:15 p.m..
With the stars of today and in modern garb, the spirit and landscapes of the old films and the famous melodies, the magic of the adventure world around Winnetou and Old Shatterhand continues.
In addition to Wotan Wilke Möhring ("Tatort") as Old Shatterhand and the internationally successful film star Nik Xhelilaj ("The Albanian") as Winnetou, Milan Peschel ("The Nanny," "Men's Day," "Halt auf freier Stecke") will be seen as Sam Hawkens and the Hollywood-proven Mexican Iazua Larios ("Apocalypto") as Nscho-tschi.
Jürgen Vogel ("Kleine Haie," "Der freie Wille," "Die Welle") plays the merciless villain Rattler in the first part, and Fahri Yardim ("Tatort"), as the Mexican bandit El Mas Loco, wants to snatch the treasure from Silver Lake.
The great Mario Adorf can be seen in the third part in the role of Santer Senior. The role of Santer Jr., which Adorf played in the 1960s films, is taken over by Michael Maertens ("Sonnenallee," "Die Vermessung der Welt") in the remake.
And there is a reunion with Gojko Mitic, the star of numerous DEFA Indian films, and with Marie Versini, who portrayed Nscho-tschi in the 1960s.
The three Winnetou films were made with a great logistical effort on over 80 shooting days filmed on the original locations of the 60s films in Croatia, as well as in the MMC Studioswhere the interior shots were made. Here, several weeks were shot in parallel in three different studios as well as on an outdoor set.
In the MMC Studios 37, 38 and 42 The complete "Winnetou World" was created: various Indian tents, sheriff's office, saloon, courtroom, telegraph office, print shop, hardware store, several hotel rooms, the office of the railroad company, wooden huts, caves, mountain tunnels, and many other sets provided the backgrounds for the adventures of Winnetou and Old Shatterhand. A tank for underwater shots was also used, and filming also took place in a 6-meter-high well shaft set on the outdoor grounds of MMC.
"Winnetou - The Myth Lives" is a production by Rat Pack Filmproduktion in cooperation with Beta Film on behalf of RTL. Producers are Christian Becker ("Fack Ju, Göhte", "Wickie und die starken Männer", "Die Welle", "Bang Boom Bang") and Christoph Müller ("Sophie Scholl", "Goethe!"). Co-producers are Matthias and Felix Wendlandt with Rialto Film, Dr. Marcus Englert, Mythos Film as well as Tabbenoca. The screenwriter is Jan Berger ("Der Medicus", "Die Tür", "Wir sind die Nacht"), in the second part with co-writer Alexander M. Rümelin ("Vulkan").
And what would Winnetou be without the famous music from the original films. For the film music, cult composer Martin Böttcher could be won over with his popular as well as world-famous original Winnetou melodies, which were newly arranged and interpreted by Heiko Maile ("Die Welle", "Vorstadtkrokodile") and newly recorded with the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg.
The films were supported by Film und Medienstiftung NRW, FFF FilmFernsehFonds Bayern and HAVC Croatian Audiovisual Centre.
More information at winnetou2016.rtl.de
Photo: Wotan Wilke Möhring (Old Shatterhand) and Nik Xhelilaj (Winnetou) on set at MMC Studio 37 in Cologne. © MMC Studios / Guido Ohlenbostel